On Tuesday First lady Melania Trump will address the Republican National Convention from the White House Rose Garden, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will speak from Israel while on a diplomatic trip, and Democrats say those speeches may violate federal law.
They say using federal property – such as the White House – for partisan political means could run afoul of the 1939 Hatch Act, which bars government employees from certain political activities.
And Democrat Joe Biden’s campaign called Pompeo’s address while on an overseas mission as a “blatant use of office for overtly political purposes.”
In an unclassified cable viewed by Reuters, Pompeo himself warned other State Department diplomats that presidential appointees should not take part in partisan activity.
But the Trump campaign has shrugged off complaints about the use of federal properties and foreign trips as partisan stages, saying it was all in compliance with the Hatch Act.
The president and vice president are exempt under the law.
Melania Trump is likely to offer an upbeat, warmer view of the president – and avoid the mistake made in 2016, when her RNC address included lines plagiarized from Michelle Obama's 2008 convention speech.
Also speaking on Tuesday are Trump's son, Eric, and daughter, Tiffany, as well as public officials such as Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and U.S. Senator Rand Paul.